web analytics
September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » Judaism » Parsha »

The Connection Between Yom Kippur And Sukkot

YU-091313

Every motza’ei Yom Kippur, a bat kol announces, “Go eat your bread with joy and drink your wine with a merry heart, for the Lord has already accepted your deeds” (Kohellet 9:7).

Chazal explain (Midrash Rabbah, Kohellet) that this bat kol comes to inform us that HaKadosh Baruch Hu has forgiven all of our previously-committed aveiros and that a new cheshbon begins from this point. “Go eat your bread,” says the bat kol, “for your prayers have already been accepted.” From this midrash, we see that the y’mei hadin end on motza’ei Yom Kippur.

On the other hand, we know that y’mei hadin end on Hoshanah Rabbah, a day on which more time is spent in prayer, with some staying awake all night. This leads us to ask: When do the y’mei hadin really end? At first glance we seem to be faced with a contradiction in the words of Chazal – first they tell us that the y’mei hadin end on motza’ei Yom Kippur, and then they tell us that the y’mei hadin in fact end on Hoshanah Rabbah.

In Nechemia (8:17), the navi tells us that when the b’nei hagolah returned to Eretz Yisrael they built sukkot, “which they had not done since the days of Yehoshua bin Nun.” The Gemara in Erchin challenges this, wondering if it is really possible that they had not built sukkot since the time of Yehoshua bin Nun. Certainly in the time of David HaMelech, for instance, B’nei Yisrael built sukkot! Rather, what the pasuk means is that the b’nei hagolah had protection from the yetzer hara of avodah zara; Ezra, like none before him, requested the bittul (nullification) of this yetzer hara, which the pasuk likens to the protection of a sukkah. This leads us to our second question: How does a sukkah represent the bittul of the yetzer hara of avodah zara?

In order to understand the answers to these questions, as well as their application to us, we must ask a third question: The first time we find a sukkah in the Torah is in Parashat Vayishlach. After Yaakov and Eisav go their separate ways, the Torah tells us that Yaakov built sukkot for his livestock, and that he subsequently named that area Sukkot. Later, in Parashat Massei, the Torah mentions sukkot again, telling us that Bnei Yisrael made camp in Sukkot after leaving Raamses. The Torah is eternal, its words bearing infinite meaning for all the generations; why is it so important that we know today of Yaakov’s, and later Bnei Yisrael’s, encampment in Sukkot?

The Gemara in Berachot (4b) teaches that we must juxtapose geulah and tefillah. The Gemara challenges this ruling based on the fact that in Maariv we say Hashkiveinu between the bracha of ga’al Yisrael and the Shemoneh Esrei, interrupting between geulah and tefillah, and answers that the bracha of Hashkiveinu is considered a geulah arichta, an extension of our reference to geulah. What we are to understand from this answer is that every geulah, personal or communal, is destined to collapse if the beneficiaries don’t request shemirah for that geulah. Hashkiveinu is a geulah arichta – the shemirah of “Shomer amo Yisrael” is essential for the preservation of the geulah of “ga’al Yisrael.”

This shemirah is represented by the sukkah – a fragile structure made of cheap, flimsy wood, without a door, without a lock, without an alarm system. The sukkah makes a statement: we don’t need any external protection; HaKadosh Baruch Hu’s protection is more than enough. Indeed, in the bracha of Hashkiveinu itself we refer to the protection represented by the sukkah: “Ufros aleinu sukkat shelomecha, Spread over us the sukkah of Your peace.”

With our new understanding of the relationship between geulah and shemirah, we can now resolve the apparent contradiction in Chazal regarding the conclusion of the y’mei hadin. In reality, the y’mei hadin end on motza’ei Yom Kippur. This end, however, is only in the sense of geulah. The geulah of motza’ei Yom Kippur is reinforced by Sukkot and Hoshanah Rabbah, when we spend more time in tefillah requesting shemirah of our positive judgment.

Yehoshua bin Nun’s conquest of Eretz Yisrael was a tremendous geulah. However, he did not ask Hashem for shemirah of this geulah. (The Gemara in fact faults him for this.) When Ezra returned to Eretz Yisrael after seventy years of galut, he requested shemirah of this geulah through a bittul of the yetzer hara of avodah zara, which protected the b’nei hagolah like a sukkah.

This principle must accompany us our entire lives: every time we merit geulah or siyata d’Shmaya we must pray for shemirah and endeavor to keep the geulah intact for as long as possible. This way we will continue to increase kavod Shamayim through all of our actions.

Inasmuch as we connect our lives to Torah as the center and the guide for all our actions, through learning, through Shabbat and the chagim, through shiurim and sichot, we guarantee that all the growth and progress we have made so far will not go to waste. Not only will be able to protect our growth, but we will even be able to reinforce our growth, and to be mekadesh shem Shamayim in all of our actions.

About the Author: Rabbi Meir Goldwicht is the Joel and Maria Finkle Visiting Israeli Rosh Yeshiva at YU-Affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Connection Between Yom Kippur And Sukkot

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Logos of the Arab Bank
Arab Bank Found Liable for Hamas Terror Funding
Latest Judaism Stories
Teens-091214-Shofar

Hamas’ tunnels were destroyed as were plans for their unparalleled terror attacks on Rosh Hashana.

Hertzberg-092614

Perhaps the most important leadership lesson Elkana taught us is to never underestimate the difference a single person can make.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

“he’s my rabbi” the Black painter said with pride, pulling out a photo of the Rebbe from his wallet

Rabbi Avi Weiss, head of theYeshivat Chovevei Torah. Rabbi Asher Lopatin will be replacing him as head of the school.

The Torah notes that even when we are dispersed God will return us to Him.

Simply, for Rambam the number 14 (2×7) was his favored organizing principle.

One of the cornerstones of our Jewish life is chesed, kindness. Chesed can only be taught by example

Our understanding of what is and what is not possible creates imagined ceilings of opportunity for us.

This young, innocent child gave me a powerful, warm surge of energy and strength.

The Chafetz Chaim answered that there are two forms of teshuvah; teshuvah m’ahava and teshuvah m’yirah.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

A Role Reversal
‘Return, O Wayward Sons…’
(Chagigah 15a)

When the Kleins returned, however, they were dismayed to see that the renters did a poor job cleaning up after themselves.

In Parshas Re’eh the Torah tells us about the bechira to adhere to the commandments of Hashem and refrain from sin. In Parshas Nitzavim, the Torah tells us that we have the choice to repent after we have sinned.

As Moshe is about to die, why does God tell him about how the Israelites will ruin everything?

Jonah objected to God accepting repentance based on ulterior motives and likely for short duration.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Goldwicht
YU-091313

This shemirah is represented by the sukkah – a fragile structure made of cheap, flimsy wood, without a door, without a lock, without an alarm system.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/the-connection-between-yom-kippur-and-sukkot/2013/09/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: